July 25, 2021

George Michael, last visit to LOS40: “a sensitive boy” against the “cruelty” of the media | LOS40 Classic

March 15, 2004, George Michael public Patience, his fifth and final studio album, and the first with unreleased material after a long eight-year hiatus. Three days after the release, the English musician wanted to present it in Spain and offered his last interview at the LOS40 studios. It was a very entertaining talk, in which George left us juicy headlines. He told anecdotes, opened up about personal issues, expressed his phobia of fame and confessed himself as a “sensitive boy” uncomfortable with “the cruelty of the media.”

After more than a decade, George Michael landed in Madrid on March 18, 2004. A few hours later, he entered the LOS40 studios expressing a requirement: he did not want cameras: “I hate cameras, unfortunately it seems that I do they like me”. Previously, the artist had stated that he did not like the interviews: “on many occasions they ask you the same questions, but it cannot be said that they are all boring, it depends on what they are doing on a given day.”

“The last time I was in Madrid with a girlfriend … my passport was stolen”

On that particular day, George Michael was not bored… “I haven’t done interviews for so long, they are turning out to be much more interesting than they were long ago.” And he began by remembering his previous trip to Madrid, which was not exactly pleasant: To be honest, the last time I was in Madrid I was with a girlfriend and we spent the whole weekend touring Madrid, trying to get a passport because mine had been stolen here and I was sleeping on the floor of someone’s house. I shaved in two days. I remember being so desperate to get my passport or a temporary passport that I don’t remember much about that trip. By the way, I didn’t get my passport back”.

“My fans have had incredible patience”

Patience was George Michael’s fifth album, the next after “Songs from the last century” (1999) his only cover album, and the first with unreleased songs since Older (1996). So eight years had passed… hence its title, ‘Patience’: “Actually, it has two meanings that are very suitable for me. First for my fans, who have had incredible patience, and I had incredible patience because I knew that, after the bad personal moments I was going through, my inspiration suffered. He knew he had to wait and he needed patience to work hard and write songs that were really worth it. On the other hand ‘patience’ refers to the situation in the world. It is the most important word in our vocabulary right now ”.

George Michael. / Dave Benett/Getty Images

“If my mother had not passed away …”

The bad personal moments that Michael refers to are linked to the passing of his mother. We remember that it was in February 1997, when his mother, Lesley Angold Panayiotou, died of cancer at the age of 60. Michael had a deep and very special relationship with her, and he was so devastated that he even declared in The Guardian: “To be true to reality, I would have to say that I do not want to live, that is how it should have been after my death. mother. I had this overwhelming feeling that the best had gone with her. She loved my mother so much and respected her so much. “

In the interview conducted by Fran Blanco for LOS40, in March 2004, the artist acknowledged that losing his mother had marked him, both personally and professionally. It was that one main factor that influenced the delay of the release of Patience: “I am sure that if my mother had not passed away, it would not have taken eight years to release this album, but there are things that take time”.

“I am too old … when I was younger I did consider having a family”

In Patience’s songs, there are “manifestations of love that she had never done before” and at the same time they show her feelings in a more sincere way. Amazing, for example, is dedicated to her partner then Kenny Goss. And the figure of the father or of The mother appears in some songs such as My mother has a brother, in which the artist makes a foray into the history of his family talking about a gay uncle who committed suicide when he was born. family?: No, I am too old for that. When I was younger I think I did consider having a family, but at 40, definitely… I see all the happiness that children bring to my friends, but I also see all the anxiety and worry. And I am very happy in my life. I know a lot of gay people who want to adopt, but I don’t think Kenny (Goss) and I… are not part of our plans.”.

“The media has become very cruel, and I am a sensitive boy”

Shortly before Patience went up for sale, George Michael announced that it would be his last. From now on, his music would only be available on the Internet. It was not a hasty decision, there was no need to wait to see how the album worked: No, no, no … The truth is, I’m sure the album is already working very, very well in its first week, and I’m sure it’s something that could tempt me. But the real point is that I sincerely think that I had difficulties with all the fame that I had previously, the celebrity form has changed and I feel very uncomfortable trying to reconcile during the rest of my professional life with this type of media scrutiny, I think that the means of have become very cruel and insensitive, and I am a sensitive boy”.

“The negativity of the media does not fit my personality”

Although Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou had been in music for almost 25 years (adding his years with Wham!) And was a famous character all over the world, it was not a good fit to be the center of the media spotlight. For years he struggled with fame, he felt disappointed and pressured, he did not get used to it: “No, no, because if you think about my career since the late 80’s, the truth is that I have done very little promotion. When I have done it, it has been like a shock to me, and as you get older, it becomes less comfortable for me to be in the spotlight. When I was a young man, at first, of course I loved him like everyone else. But it was a different time and I think that the negativity that dominates in the media is something that does not fit with my personality ”.

Finally, George Michael said goodbye expressing his affection for Spain. “It is one of the most faithful countries to me. Considering how little promotion I do, Spain has truly supported me during the last 15 years… ”.